SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA—In what is being called the worst development to hit the Asian pop star industry in years, the floundering economy forced several Pacific Rim nations to lay off some 700,000 pop stars this week, sources close to the young, perky entertainers reported. "Although we still have more than 2 million pop stars left working, this is a devastating blow," entertainment industry analyst Bak Jae-bok said. "Sadly, the space-age Korean teenybopper and Japanese cowboy sectors were hit the hardest, and may take many months to recover." Bak went on to say that several Asian entertainment corporations are now looking to outsource their red-haired, leather-jacket-wearing teenage boy workforce overseas.